I have been neglecting the blog recently. Too many things happening and too many deadlines but today I decided to prepare for you one of my favourite dips, the Iranian answer to baba ghannuge where grilled aubergines are mixed with caramelised onions and garlic and instead of tahini, kashk or dried buttermilk that provides both creaminess and tartness. A very interesting ingredients which you can buy in Persian shops either dried or already reconstituted in jars. I used the latter. And instead of drizzling the dip with olive oil, Persians use the much more luxurious saffron water as garnish together with a little of the caramelised onions and chopped walnuts which you can toast lightly to enhance their flavour.
This may well be my last post from my trips to Iran and it is a problematic one because even though I took the clip above, I don’t remember what the filling is nor what the bread is called. I don’t even remember what it tasted like and you can see from the not so flattering picture of me (taken by my lovely friend Alimo who showed me around on my first trip) that I did taste it. Perhaps Alimo will come to my rescue or one of you will and tell me what that filling is, also the name of the bread. My feeling is that the filling was either ground sesame or walnuts but I may be wrong. Looks delicious though, and yet again you can’t but admire the dexterity of the baker. I should have waited to film him stamp the bread with the beautiful implement which you can spot to his right. I will definitely buy one when I return. I will also film the whole sequence and take proper notes!
As most of you know by now, I love Iranian food, and I have been cooking it a lot recently. One of the dishes I discovered on my last trip to Iran is a Gilaki (from Gilan province) classic, a simple vegetarian dish cooked with beans, that are not unlike cannellini, and dill with eggs broken into the mixture at the very last minute just before serving. I make mine slightly differently, leaving it fresher and drier than they do in Iran because I don’t like to lose the definition of ingredients. When I sent my picture of the dish to my friend Nasrine, who I stay with when I am in Iran, she said it was more like art than food! Not so sure about that but it is beautiful, and delicious, and very easy to make.